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Batman Set Review - Part 1

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You may have read my previous set reviews on Dice Anon. Since this part of this set has been spoiled, here is my review for the Batman Set. Note - those Flip cards that only had one side revealed are not reviewed in this article.

Rather than go through every card, I’ve adjusted this review to cover those cards that have a specific type of ability or attribute that is usually desirable in play or team building. This entails those cards that provide Control, Direct Damage, Die Removal, Ramp/Churn, Cost Reduction effects, are Unblockable, requires your opponent to pay or lose life, or have above average A/D values. Also, at the end of this article I’ve commented on some additional cards that have other noteworthy abilities.

The letter in parenthesis after the sub-title is the card’s rarity.

New Keywords:
Boomerang – Applicable to Action dice. After using this die, roll it. If you roll an [Action] Face, add it to your Prep Area.

Common Ground – Similar to Teamwork, in this ability the character die must be attacking to activate.

Gadgetteer – Pertains to Action dice: when applicable character die attacks, you may roll an Action die from your Used Pile. If you roll an [Action] face, you may field it.

Flip – Applicable to those cards with abilities on both sides. Comments:
• Each card with the Flip keyword has two affiliations you must manage. This expands your capabilities and opens you to counters with effects that are affiliation depended.
• All applicable card and dice characteristics, except affiliation, are the same on both sides.
• Associated tech that synergizes or affects the Flip keyword:
• Bat Signal (C/U versions): enables another of your character cards to be Flipped
The Penguin – Old Money, New Crime: prevents Flip


Control
Preventing or limiting your opponent from doing something, taking control of their dice, forcing them to do something they don’t want to do, or paying an additional cost or taking damage when they want to something.

Batgirl – Shadow of the Bat (C)
Intimidate.
Batgirl can only use Intimidate on [Villain] character dice.

Control Effect: dice removal (via the Intimidate keyword ability)
Comments: A limited use of the Intimidate ability, a good card to Draft if you are running a non-Villain team and expect to go up against other Villain teams.

Batman - One with the Night (C)
(a) Flip (At the beginning of your turn, you may flip this card to its other side.)
While Batman is active, opposing [Villain] character dice cannot attack alone.
(b) Flip (At the beginning of your turn, you may flip this card to its other side.)
While Batman is active, opposing non-[Villain] character dice cannot attack alone.

Control Effect: prevents your opponent’s character dice from attacking alone
Comments: This ability prevents the abilities from dice such as Invisible Stalker or Wolverine. While this ability may cause your opponent to attack with additional dice (like a taunt), you must take care not to be overwhelmed with attackers you cannot block. Effects that return attackers to the Field Zone (e.g. Distraction or Blink-Transmutation) can counter this potential taunt side-effect.

Batwoman – Kate Kane (C)
(a) Flip (At the beginning of your turn, you may flip this character to its other side.)
When fielded, draw a die. If it is a [Villains] die, roll it and add it to your Reserve Pool. Otherwise return it to your bag.
(b) Flip (At the beginning of your turn, you may flip this character to its other side.)
When Batwoman is active, when your opponent draws two or more non-[Villains] non-Sidekick dice, Batwoman deals them 2 damage.

Control Effect (b) side: If your opponent uses an action, they receive damage.
Comments: Similar to the control effect from Static – Virgil Hawkins, only this ability cannot be avoided by your opponent in the Clear and Draw Step. A nice ‘nick-n-cut’ damage ability for a 4 cost die.

Conner Kent – Kon-El (U)
Connor Kent can't be blocked by [Villains] character dice.

Control Effect: prevents blocking
Comments: A nice 3 PC pick-up in Draft if you feel you’ll be dealing with several Villain teams or combine with an effect that enables a die to gain the Villain affiliation (e.g. Lantern Power Ring – Energy Projection global). He’ll whittle down the number of your opponent’s Sidekick blockers on those team builds, unless your opponent lets Conner through for damage.

Dove - Dawn Granger (C)
While Hawk is active, Dove gets +2A and +2D.
Global: Pay [shield]. Target attacking character die gets -1A.

Control Effect: (global) subtracts from character die’s A value, reducing its damage potential
Comments: With Hawk active, Dove’s A/D values become 3 3 4/3 7 10 – obviously Dove becomes a defensive fortress at levels 2 & 3. The drawback is you must have Hawk active. If you’re running a shield team, which has many defensive and control effects to choose from, one of the vulnerabilities was protecting against combat damage. Now, there’s a global that provides some added defense. If you have 2 or more shield energy available, you can blunt, if not eliminate, the attack damage from a character die. I see this global being slotted into many Control teams.

Dove – Danger! (U)
If Dove is in your Used Pile and you take damage, move Dove to your Prep Area.
Global: Pay [shield]. Target attacking character die gets -1A, reducing its damage potential

Control Effect: (global) subtracts from character die’s A value.
Comments: While this ability is a nifty, albeit situational, way to quickly cycle your Dove die, it’s the Global Ability that is the most interesting (see Dove - Dawn Granger above for comments on the Global Ability).

Harley Quinn – Tough Cookie (R)
While Harley Quinn is active, at the beginning of your turn, if you control at least 2 different [Villains] character dice, your opponent loses 1 life and you gain 1 life.

Control Effects: Opponent loses life when using an ability.
Comments: For a 3 cost character, this is a good card to include on a Villain team, especially in Draft.

Jervis Tetch - Mad Hatter (C)
When Jervis Tetch attacks, gain control of target opposing Sidekick. That Sidekick must attack this turn (if able).

Control Effects: take control of an opposing character die; taunt
Comments: A pesky way to send an opponent’s Sidekick against them. Be careful not to use if your opponent has any character dice with “when/while blocking” effects.

Jervis Tetch - Tea Time (U)
While Jervis Tetch is active, after your opponent declares attackers, gain control of target opposing character die with purchase cost of 4 or less. That character die and Jervis Tetch must block this turn (if able).

Control Effects: take control of an opposing character die; taunt
Comments: Been looking for a counter to Bard, or any other PC 4 or less character die with a brutal “when attacks” ability, here you go.

Mister Miracle – Great Escape (C)
Mister Miracle cannot be targeted by opposing action dice or abilities.

Control Effect: cannot be targeted.
Comments: A low cost die that you can load up with effects your opponent cannot cancel or alter.

Mr. Freeze - Dr. Victor Fries (C)
When fielded, put a Stun token on an opposing character card. (Stunned character card's dice cannot attack or block. The card's owner can pay [2 energy] any time they could use a Global Ability to remove a Stun token.)

Control Effects: prevents combat engagement unless your opponent pays energy (energy tax).
Comments: This ability introduces an effect that prevents your opponent’s character dice from engaging in combat for consecutive turns. Most likely your opponent will pay the two energy to lift this restriction – meaning they’ll have two less energy to use for any other effects. This is definitely one die you want to cycle often out of the Field Zone.

Mr. Freeze - Cold-Blooded Criminal (U)
When Mr. Freeze blocks or is blocked by an opposing non-[Villain] character die, put a Stun token on the die's card. (Stunned character card's dice cannot attack or block. The card's owner can pay [2 energy] any time they could use a Global Ability to remove a Stun token.)

Control Effects: prevents combat engagement unless your opponent pays energy (energy tax).
Comments: Shenanigans abound with a taunt effect and perhaps an effect to remove this die from the Attack Zone.

Ra’s al Ghul - Mystery and Power (C)
While Ra's al Ghul is active, opposing non-[Villains] character dice get -1A.
Global: Pay [mask]. Target character card loses [Villain affiliation] (until end of turn).

Control Effects: subtracts from character die’s A value, reducing its damage potential; (global) removes Villain affiliation
Comments: The character ability is a minor A value suppressor, but the control effect of the Global Ability can hamper your opponent, especially if their team is dependent on having Villains trigger other card’s effects.

Ra’s al Ghul - Fighting Death Himself (U)
While Ra's al Ghul is active, your opponent may not declare non-[Villain] character dice as attackers, unless they pay [1 energy] per die.
Global: Pay [mask]. Target character card loses [Villain affiliation] (until end of turn).

Control Effects: prevents declaring attackers unless your opponent pays energy (energy tax); (global) removes Villain affiliation
Comments: A control effect that prevents your opponent from declaring attackers, unless they pay (energy tax). Here’s where those effects that apply the Villain affiliation come in handy. However, the Global Ability, another control ability, can be used against any Villains, opening them up to Ra’s al Ghul’s effect. This is a versatile control card.

Talia al Ghul – It’s Complicated (R)
Fast
Talia al Ghul can't be blocked by character dice with Flip.

Control Effect: prevents blocking.
Comments: Although the PC is on the expensive side, in Draft this is a great card to have because of the likelihood of facing several dice with the Flip keyword. Her A values are above the average for a 5 PC card, but having below average D values is a drawback.

The Joker - Joke’s On You (C)
(a) Flip (At the beginning of your turn, you may flip this character to its other side.)
While The Joker is active, your [Batman Family] character dice get +1A and +1D.
(b) Flip (At the beginning of your turn, you may flip this character to its other side.)
While The Joker is active, opposing [Batman Family] character dice can't attack unless your opponent pays [2 energy] per die.

Control Effect: prevents your opponent from declaring Batman Family affiliated attackers, unless they pay energy (energy tax).
Comments: What makes this card very powerful is that your opponent is taxed for each die they declare as an attacker. This card would be a good pick-up in Draft because of the (b) side energy tax effect and the likelihood you’ll be facing Batman Family characters.

The Joker - One Bad Day (SR)
(a) Flip (At the beginning of your turn, you may flip this character to its other side.)
The Joker can't be blocked by non-[Villains] character dice.
(b) Flip (At the beginning of your turn, you may flip this character to its other side.)
The Joker can't be blocked by [Villains] character dice.

Control Effect: prevents your opponent from blocking The Joker.
Comments: The control effect on this card also makes The Joker conditionally unblockable. The advantage of the Flip mechanism is you can survey your opponent’s field and flip the card to where it will be most effective. This card is a good example of applying this tactic. One drawback is the poor A values on this die require some boost effect to make this ability worthwhile. Extra tech: have an ability that adds the Villain affiliation to use on your opponent’s Sidekicks.

The Penguin - Old Money, New Crime (R)
While The Penguin is active, your opponent can't flip [Batman Family] cards unless they pay 1 life.

Control Effect: prevents the application of a Keyword ability (Flip)
Comments: This card’s ability provides some counter-tech to the Flip mechanism, in the form of a life-tax. Nice control card against teams relying on using this keyword. Especially good card to pick-up in Draft.

The Riddler - What Am I? (U)
When The Riddler blocks, you may swap the A and D of all character dice blocked by him (until end of turn).

Control Effect: enables you to manipulate an opponent’s dice (swapping die values)
Comments: While The Riddler’s mediocre A values mean he most likely won’t KO the attacker, his robust D values mean he won’t be KO’d either. A great die to use against those attackers with Overcrush applied; however, won’t help if your opponent applies that effect to a die you did not block. Another consideration, the die values of this card combine well with Kal-L’s global (switching the A & D values of a character die). With an A 123, D 568 the D minus A equates to a 445 swing in values.

Two-Face - Two Sides of the Same Coin (C)
(a) Flip (At the beginning of your turn, you may flip this card to its other side.)
Fast
Regenerate
(b) Flip (At the beginning of your turn, you may flip this card to its other side.)
While Two-Face is active, opposing character dice cannot gain, Fast and Regenerate.

Control Effect: prevents the application of a Keyword ability (Fast and Regenerate)
Comments: Useful control tech to prevent opposing character dice from gaining Regenerate, but more importantly, Fast. The drawbacks are the high PC and that there is only one ability on this Flip card. Note – this ability prevents a character from “gaining” these keyword abilities, not removing them if they are an inherent ability.

Two-Face’s Coin – 50/50 (C)
(a) Continuous: Whenever you could use a Global Ability, you can send this die to the Used Pile to deal 1 damage to target character die or player.
*/** Then, flip this card.
(b) Begin the game with this side face-down.
Continuous: Whenever you could use a Global Ability, you can send this die to the Used Pile to prevent 2 damage target character die. Then, flip this card.

Control Effect (b) side: prevents damage.
Comments: Note that this card is not affected by the Flip-effect abilities of Bat Signal because this is an Action card and Bat Signal affects character cards. The abilities are very utilitarian and with a low PC, very economical. Great card to grab in Draft.


Direct Damage
Inflicting damage directly onto your opponent.

Bane - Knight Terror (U)
When Bane attacks, KO target [Batman Family] character die and deal 1 damage to its controller.

Comments: A slightly expensive, but effective counter against a Batman Family team build. But for the cost, prefer to use the rare version.

Batwoman - Kate Kane (C)
Comments: See comments for this card in the Control section.

Firefly - Ted Carson (C)
When fielded, deal 1 damage to your opponent for each [bolt] character die you control.

Comments: As if bolt energy teams needed another offensive weapon, we now have this card. Good news, if you do not like to play bolt teams – bad news if you do, is this is a “when fielded” effect, the FC is 112 (so it’s costing energy to cycle) and the D values are 234, preventing an inexpensive one-shot KO (like from Unstable Canister’s global). But there is tech to get around these shortcomings, making this a potent card to include in a bolt team build.

Firefly - Pyromaniac (U)
When Firefly is KO'd, deal 2 damage to your opponent if you have any [bolt] energy in your Reserve Pool.

Comments: This card, while having similar drawbacks as the common version, is a better selection because you can deal 2 damage consistently (vice being dependent on having 2 or more active bolt character dice). Combine with Merlyn – League of Assassins global to help with having a bolt energy available to trigger Firefly.

Hawk - Might Makes Right (U)
While Hawk is active, if Dove is KO'd, deal damage equal to Hawk's A to your opponent.
Global: Pay [fist]. Target attacking character die gains +1A (until end of turn). Character dice may only be targeted by this Global Ability once per turn.

Comments: Main drawback is Dove being on her level 3 side (with a base D value of 8). You can put a lot of tech support to spin Hawk up to level 3, spin down Dove (where she has a D = 1), apply a ping (say Unstable Canister global) to KO her and deal 7 damage to your opponent (8 if you use the global). Definitely you do not want to use the common version of Dove if you go through the trouble of setting up this situation.

Parademon - Strength in Numbers (U)
Swarm
While Parademon is active, it deals 1 damage to target opponent when you draw an extra die from the Swarm keyword.

Comments: One way to optimize this ability is to have more than 1 character with Swarm in your team build. Flood your churn with all those cheap Swarmers and you can do 3 or more direct damage each turn. This card could be a cornerstone in a budget Swarm or Flying Sidekicks team.

Two-Face’s Coin – 50/50 (C)
Comments: See comments for this card in the Control section.

Die Removal
Forcing the removal of a die from the Field Zone.

Bane - Knight Terror (U)
Comments: See comments for this card in the Direct Damage section.

Batgirl – Shadow of the Bat (U)
Comments: See comments for this card in the Control section.

Darkseid – “Omega” (C)
While Darkseid is active, whenever you could use a Global Ability, you may sacrifice a Parademon. If you do, capture an opposing character die (until end of turn).

Comments: This ability removes an opposing character die via a capture. Rather costly, in both energy and the sacrificing of a Parademon die – especially if you only have one fielded and it’s your Swarm trigger.

Darkseid – Erasure (U)
While Darkseid is active, whenever you can use a global ability, you may sacrifice a Parademon. If you do, draw two additional dice from your bag during your next Clear and Draw Step.
Global: Pay [1]. Move a die from your Prep Area to your Used Pile. Then, draw a die from your bag and add it to your Prep Area.

Comments: The Global Ability enables you to draw a die from your bag, but at a cost of moving a die from your Prep Area to the Used Pile. This ability may have some value, but may be too situational to be reliable.

Hush - Childhood Friend (C)
When fielded, you may KO target [Batman Family] character die of equal or lower level.

Comments: Good card to remove a problematic opposing Batman Family die, provided it isn’t on a higher level.

Killer Croc - Blood in the Water (U)
When fielded, KO all character dice with an A of 2 or less.

Comments: Being a PC 6, an expensive field-clearing ability for those weak A value character dice.

Killer Croc - Out of the Depths (R)
When fielded, KO all level 1 and 2 character dice with A less than Killer Croc.

Comments: Somewhat limiting, even with Croc’s A values of 457 – the opposing dice must be levels 1 or 2 and have A values less than the Killer Croc you field. There are better PC 7 cards to include before this one.

Owlman - Brains of the Operation (U)
When Owlman is KO'd, your opponent KOs the highest purchase cost non-[Villains] character die they control.

Comments: This ability is a mutually assured destruction type of effect. It works best if you have a self-inflicting damage effect to KO your Owlman. Got that Gorilla Grodd primed to attack, I’ll ping my Batgirl, KO my Owlman and take out your Grodd.


Ramp/Churn
Effects that move dice into your Prep Area (ramp) or accelerate the moving of dice so you roll them more often (churn).

Batarang – What Goes Around Comes Around (C)
Deal 3 damage to target [Villain] character die.
Boomerang (After using this die, roll it. If you roll an [Action] Face, add it to your Prep Area.)

Batarang – Multitool (U)
Deal 1 damage to target character die for each of your [Batman Family] character dice in the Field Zone.
Boomerang (After using this die, roll it. If you roll an [Action] face, add it to your Prep Area.)

Comments: The Boomerang keyword provides the opportunity to move this die to the Prep Area after use. “Pick ur Poison” on which version to use based on your team build and strategy – they all are low cost and each has a decent ability:
(C) This Action die really puts on the Villain-hate. The Boomerang effect gives it a 50/50 chance to cycle directly into your Prep Area to potentially deal another strike in your next turn. The PC 2 is a big plus.
(U) Consider this version if you intent to load-up on Batman Family dice in the Field Zone. This is the highest cost card in the character set, but still not bad at PC = 3.

Dove - Danger! (U)
Comments: See comments for this card in the Control section.

Mister Miracle - Death Defying (U)
When Mister Miracle is KO'd, you may move another character die from your Field Zone into your Prep Area. If you do, return Mister Miracle to the Field Zone at level 3.

Comments: This ability provides another way to cycle those dice with “when fielded” effects, with the added benefit of returning Mister Miracle to the field. Having a D = 122 means this die is easy to KO on any level. Definitely include some self-inflicting damage effects if you want to use this tactic.

Orion – The Second Son (U)
When Orion deals combat damage to your opponent, you may pay [1 energy]. If you do, you may move him to your Prep Area (instead of the Used Pile).

Comments: This die combines well with unblockable or Overcrush effects. The A & D values are above average for a 6 cost card. However, the drawback is the high PC.


Unblockable

Conner Kent - Kon-El (U)
Comments: See comments for this card in the Control section.

Harley Quinn - Batter Up! (U)
When Harley Quinn attacks, if at least one other [Villains] character die is attacking, and you only control [Villains] character dice, she is unblockable.

Comments: While I think highly of unblockable abilities, this one requires several things to be set-up to effectively apply. A card to consider in your team build if you are running mostly Villains.

Talia al Ghul - It’s Complicated (R)
Comments: See comments for this card in the Control section.

The Joker - One Bad Day (SR)
Comments: See comments for this card in the Control section.


Cost Reduction
Effects that reduce the cost to purchase and/or field a die or to apply an ability.

Commissioner Gordon - “Good Cop” (C)
Ally
While Commissioner Gordon is active, your non-[Villains] character dice cost 2 less to field.

Comments: Good additional to a non-Villain team, especially if you have several high TFC dice.


Pay or Lose Life
Effects that require your opponent to pay or lose life to apply an ability.

Harley Quinn – Tough Cookie (R)
Comments: See comments for this card in the Control section.

The Penguin - Old Money, New Crime (R)
Comments: See comments for this card in the Control section.

Above Average A values, for the Purchase Price:
(4+ above the average for all cards in Dice Masters)

PC 2 (average 6.61)
Nightwing - Protector of Bludhaven: Total A value 12

PC 3 (average 7.88)
Nightwing - Heir to the Cowl: Total A value 12
Talia al Ghul – Forbidden Love: Total A value 14

PC 4 (average 10.15)
Batman – One with the Night: Total A value 16

Above Average D values, for the Purchase Price:
(4+ above the average for all cards in Dice Masters)

PC 4 (average 10.57)
The Joker (all versions): Total D value 15
The Riddler (C/U versions): Total D value 19

PC 5 (average 13.20)
The Riddler – Get A Clue: Total D value 19


Other Noteworthy Cards

Darkseid - Force of Entropy (SR)
While Darkseid is active, your Sidekicks gain Swarm.

Comments: So let’s get this out of the way: it’s a Super Rare card, the PC is high, and while the TFC is normal for a PC 6 card, the level 3 side has a FC of 3. Having said that, this ability is very powerful. It gives you 8 free dice with Swarm. Once Darkseid hits the field, you should be cycling your bag quite often. This also forces your opponent to deal with any Sidekicks you field, as well as trying to get Darkseid out of the way (and with D values of 457, he’s pretty durable). In this case, effects that give your Sidekicks a D values boost are very helpful.

Red Hood - Jason Todd (C)
When Red Hood attacks, he gains +1A for each other attacking character die.

Comments: While PDC Prime retired Guy Gardner – Blinding Rage, his ability is back with Red Hood. Although this Red Hood die costs 1 more to purchase and has a higher TFC, he does have a greater A value on his level 3 side and does not have to attack each turn. Make way for the Red Hood aggro teams.

Updated 03-29-2017 at 03:56 PM by archivist

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Comments

  1. Basementcuts's Avatar
    Excellent write up!
  2. Jwannabe's Avatar
    Thanks for doing this again!

    I believe you have one glaring omission.

    C Rip Hunter has possibly one of the best abilities printed. He is churn.

    He says basically that when you draw your dice during the clear and draw phase, you may place any you don't want in used and replace them .
  3. archivist's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Jwannabe
    Thanks for doing this again!

    I believe you have one glaring omission.

    C Rip Hunter has possibly one of the best abilities printed. He is churn.

    He says basically that when you draw your dice during the clear and draw phase, you may place any you don't want in used and replace them .

    Absolutely correct - that'll be in Part 2, which will cover the other two Rip Hunter cards when they are spoiled.